Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii 2020 broadcast and livestreamed on Memorial Day

May 26, 2020
Tokyo / Honolulu

The Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaii 2020, an annual ceremony that usually takes place every Memorial Day at Ala Moana Beach Park, gathering tens of thousands of participants on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, could not take place in person this year due to concerns amidst the coronavirus pandemic. However, it was observed by broadcast on Hawaii News Now’s KGMB feed and livestreamed online.

The program featured a ceremonial blessing by Her Holiness Shinso Ito, who officiated at a special service that was held at Shinnyo-en’s Head Temple in Japan on May 24th, in lieu of the ceremony at Ala Moana Beach, along with words of encouragement, and personal stories about overcoming struggle, sacrifice, and awakening.

“Simply praying for a better world will not be enough to bring it about. We must bring our prayers into the world through action," said HH Shinso Ito in a column in the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

In line with the event’s legacy, the observance was held in remembrance of the military’s fallen and loved ones who have passed. With a spirit of hope and positivity, the event this year also acknowledged the countless acts of compassion and heroism expressed as the world continues to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditionally, on Memorial Day, participants write personal messages on 7,000 candle-lit lanterns and set them afloat on the ocean at Ala Moana to honor loved ones.

The releasing of the lanterns is a symbolic, collective vow to work toward a peaceful, harmonious future, where each person commits to strive for their best through expressing their “shinnyo,” a term used to describe “our best selves”.

The public was invited this year online to submit their remembrances, prayers, and commitments to positive action normally placed on the lanterns.

Although this year was different, its significant message remains the same — the care and support that surrounds and connects all will bring about a brighter future.

Our hope is that the ceremony broadcast will provide solace to those watching and will encourage everyone to continue their prayers and commitments to positive action to perpetuate the goodness of those being remembered through the ceremony.

READ Honolulu Star Advertiser: Let your natural goodness guide your words and actions, by Shinso Ito